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September 2019



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brutti_ma_buoni in photo_scavenger


Berlin 068

Forgive the lousy photo, but preservation and destruction has been a lot on my mind as I'm just back from a few days in Berlin. The city has suffered a lot of destruction through bombing, but also through ideological decisions about demolishing evidence of previous regimes. So you end up with spaces like this.

What you can see is (left) the Marienkirche, which is a rebuilt but basically preserved 13th-14th century church. It should sit amid a tumble of narrow streets; instead it sits beside a dual carriageway, and on this open square. There are two other items on this square - the fountain, from the rise of Prussia as a great state, but without any context from buildings of the period. The palace which was once near here was levelled in the 1950s. And (right) the lower end of the massive Ferhsehturm, which is a Communist-era TV tower. It's basically redundant now, but it's such a landmark in the east of the city that it is also being preserved, as a signal of the city's past and for its retro chic.

Because the Marienkirche and the Fernsehturm are pretty tall and the fountain isn't, it's hard to get them all in shot together, but I've got slightly better pictures of them below the cut!

Berlin 064 Berlin 066 Berlin 067


That really is a juxtaposition of unusual things. Hopefully Berlin can find its identity again, and find an aesthetic way to blend architecture that bridges past, present, and future.
It's fascinating to be somewhere that changes so much according to which way you're facing! So much has gone, and what they've chosen to keep or recreate stands out.
Very interesting combination of styles. I particularly llike the shot looking up at the underside of the brick tower.
I love taking shots of tall buildings like that - as you can tell!
It is interested to be reminded that things are often on what are basically unnatural surroundings. I am now trying to visualise the Marienkirche in the middle of a jumble of small streets. I think of it being like York (or Peel, but that means less to you!) - and it gives me a whole different handle on it.
In the massive photo post on my journal (just posted) the Nicholaikirche surroundings are a bit closer, but yes, I would think York would be quite close. Though Peel might be better - Berlin was pretty small at the time when York was riding high! The church must have stood up massively above surrounding buildings, and you very likely never could get this kind of distance view of the side walls, for example.
I hear you on that. There is a place where one can observe this quite nicely, albeit in a model: in Paris, in the Musée du Louvre, they have this exhibition about the history of the Louvre right at the start of the whole exibition. One can not only walk along the dug-out foundations of the medieval part, which is already awesome; but there are models showing the whole complex during all of its changes, and particularly the small streets and huddled houses in between the larger new builidngs, and how they vanished over time.
It's such a shame when regimes destroy indiscriminately.
It's great that they rebuilt some and want to preserve instead of just building all new. It makes for a great mix now. :)
Great take on the prompt, and great shots! Particularly the juxtaposition of the Prussian fountain and the Fernsehturm - that feels a bit like Berlin history in a nutshell.
It is so very sad what war does, not just to people, but to buildings and towns as well. That is lovely and I'm glad they were able to save it.